Leading Greek theater director arrested on rape charges By Reuters

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4/4 © Reuters. Greek actor and former director of the Lignadis National Theater of Greece is escorted by police officers to the prosecutor’s office in Athens 2/4

ATHENS (Reuters) – Greek police detained a prominent theater director on Saturday for rape, the latest twist in the “MeToo” saga that is bringing the country’s art world to light. Dimitris Lignadis, a former artistic director of the National Theater of Greece who resigned earlier this month after allegations of harassment in media reports, turned himself in to police after a prosecutor issued an arrest warrant. Greek television showed Lignadis, handcuffed, being brought before a magistrate on Sunday. He will be held until his guilty plea on Wednesday, police said. His attorney said he denies the charges. The arrest warrant came after two men filed two lawsuits against him claiming they were raped by him at a much younger age. One of the two lawsuits falls under the statute of limitations. The case has quickly spread to politics with opposition parties accusing the government and its Minister of Culture of a failed cover-up attempt and calling for his resignation. On Friday, Culture Minister Lina Mendoni, whose ministry oversees the National Theater, told reporters that Lignadis had misled her, calling him a “dangerous man.” “From the moment the rumors started … we put a lot of pressure on him to tell us if he was involved,” Mendoni told reporters. “I feel like Lignadis, apart from everything else, deceived us. With deep acting art he tried to convince us that he had nothing to do with all this,” he said. Greece’s “#MeToo” revelations took off when Sofia Bekatorou, a Greek sailing gold medalist at the 2004 Olympics, opened up last month about being sexually assaulted by a sports official when she was 21 years old. His tale – and the sheer amount of support it elicited – prompted dozens of actors, singers, athletes and students to perform at Greece’s belated “MeToo” moment, shaking the arts establishment and mounting pressure for change.

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